Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Fiction

I'm very excited today! Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" was released today and I got my very own copy sitting right here beside me. It is such a bright and colorful movie and I felt inspired.

My odd fictional town gets a little color boost!

Prompt No. 6: Colors

The town of Dren was many things; it was calm, constant, and content. It was unchanging and unyielding, safe and peaceful. One thing it was not was colorful.

There was color, of course, but the no nonsense attitude of the community seemed to give everything a muted quality. Even the flowers seemed dull. No one much minded because Dren was a healthy and happy place; it always had been and it always would be.

However, that all changed one year when the somber atmosphere of the town was disrupted. That was when the Travelers came.

The story is passed down of their first visit to Dren and how the people, understandably, had been quite alarmed to see colored lights dancing along the woodland road in misty night. It was early autumn and the winds had just changed, bringing mists from the north. The swirling vapor clung to the trees like moss. Some of the more superstitious townsfolk believed the town to be beset by spirits, but the eminent members of the town gathered calmly at the border fence, steadfast in their unity and their unshakeable good sense.

The first lights to emerge from the darkness and the mist were the vivid red lanterns of the King Travelers’ wagon. The red glass lanterns hung from every corner of the painted roof and, as the wagon lumbered out of the woods, light trickled out from behind crimson curtains. The townsfolk stood dumbstruck in the presence of such an opulent sight; the brightness of the lanterns rained down on them like a sunset and contrasted harshly with the black coats of the horses, which seemed to reflect no light at all, shadows pulling fire.

Awe and fear gave way to mirth as the King Traveler, a bear of a man with eyes the color of new spring leaves, offered wares and goods from the east in return for a safe place to rest. The travelers were led to one of the fallow fields outside of the town center in what became a grand procession. Each wagon behind the King’s carried different colored lanterns and bright designs on the roofs and panels. The people of Dren had, some admitted later, never been aware that colors could be so vivid or that so many different shades existed. Blue and green lights swung through the dark along with shades of gold and orange creating a dazzling spectacle that drew even the most remote farmer from his home.

That night, under the pale moon, the drab townsfolk welcomed the strange King Traveler and his gypsy court with a feast and much celebration. They brought out their plentiful harvest while the Travelers offered cured meats and aromatic spices. There was music and laughter and dancing, although some of the mothers didn’t think too highly of the dancing girls with their tanned bare arms and sheer heliotrope scarves.

It seemed hardly any time had passed before the Travelers had to move on, but the town of Dren was the better for it. Every household, every building now sported something in vivid hues. The light hearted and merry Travelers had lifted some of the dreary and dull atmosphere from the town and life seemed brighter.

When the winds change in early autumn, the people of Dren know that it won’t be long before the Travelers arrive. Everyone waits eagerly for the watchmen to sound their approach. They gather at the eastern road and wait for the familiar red lanterns to emerge from the mists.


  1. Hooray for Gypsies! Now, where be them tramps and thieves? (I know, I need to be shot, don't I? My apologies!)

    I quite like the town of Dren as well! :D

  2. This reminds me of "Something Wicked This Way Comes"(minus the wind and threat). I want to be there for the next arrival. Write me in, won't you?